August 22, 2022 – Click here to listen
A friend of mine made an utter fool out of himself yesterday when he wrote a very mean-spirited e-mail about a television personality who has graciously agreed to do a television interview with me. I thought it was wonderful that the man even had an interest in airing my testimony, but in my buddy’s eyes, he was not moving fast enough in scheduling the interview. My friend intended to send his e-mail hate bomb exclusively to me, but inadvertently copied the person that he chose to ridicule, the television personality.
He was not amused and quickly wrote back and told my friend in a nice manner that he was a moron and instructed him in no uncertain terms not to write him again and he would deal directly with me regarding the interview from this point forward.
Okay, now I admit that when I read this exchange of messages, I was livid. My friend had not been asked to represent me in such a manner. It was embarrassing to me that he railed against this nice person who was trying his utmost to do me a big favor and help me to further my ministry by getting my story out to hundreds of thousands of viewers. I realized that my friend sent the e-mail in error; however, he was making a big deal out of nothing and being mean-spirited. If the television guy had scheduling conflicts or wanted to wait for the right time, I was perfectly content.
There is an old Chinese proverb that states: “Do not remove a fly from your friend’s forehead with a hatchet”. Hmmm . . . As I thought about how to respond to the situation I thought of this proverb. To tell the truth, I was tempted to remove the words, “Do not” from the proverb and deal with my friend’s mistake accordingly, but I checked my temper at the gate.
I quickly replied to “all” on the e-mail apologizing profusely to the television personality and scolding my friend for acting like a fool, and I made it clear that my buddy was NOT representative of me when he elected to attack this nice man. I thanked the TV guy for his interest and told him that I was in no hurry to do the interview and to please just find a time that worked best for him. I ended by telling my buddy that he owed the TV man a sincere apology.
In a little while, the television personality responded and the situation had been diffused. He couldn’t have been more gracious and is still planning to do the interview in the next couple of weeks. Almost simultaneously my buddy wrote me and was embarrassed to no end that he had copied the guy on the e-mail and was apologetic.
I called my friend on the phone and first chided him for being an idiot in inadvertently copying the guy and then further for even writing such a mean-spirited e-mail to begin with. “It is not the Christian way to belittle and insult people either behind their back and certainly not to their face”, I scolded him.
Do you think Jesus would be proud of such behavior?
No one felt worse about the situation than my buddy did and burying an ax deeper in his forehead would not have helped anything anyway, but would merely have created more strife. He sent the TV guy an apology e-mail and the saga has ended once and for all. (I hope).
I suppose my takeaway from this is that two wrongs don’t make a right. The television personality could have become so incensed by my buddy’s personal attack on him that he could have refused to even do an interview. Instead, he chose to politely make my buddy feel about an inch tall and then contact me directly and agree to move forward. I could have gone off on my buddy big time for representing me in such a foolish manner, but instead, I chose to chide him a little and then “bury the hatchet” with him, (as in making peace; not in his forehead).
So all is good and peace and harmony have been restored! My buddy learned some valuable lessons as in he should not viciously attack those who are trying to help us, (or anyone, even if they choose not to help us), and he must always check who he copies before pressing the “send” button on confidential e-mails.
He told me that he thought he would put a post-it note on his computer monitor screen reminding himself to check who he is copying on his e-mails prior to pressing send.
Hmmm . . . Maybe he should also post a copy of the verse below and check it prior to pressing “send”. Indeed this might be a sound idea for us all, eh?
“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”